The Israeli startup keeping our everyday gadgets safe from attacks

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The Israeli startup keeping our everyday gadgets safe from attacks

SAM Seamless Network provides software solutions to the threats posed by the increasing number of devices connected to home and business wifi across the world

From smart speakers to TVs to doorbells to thermostats, our homes have never been so connected. We are living in the era of the Internet of Things where everyday devices exchange data with each other over a wired or wireless network.

Think smart watches, Amazon Alexas, intelligent heating, remote controlled appliances – the list goes on – but with increased connectivity comes increased risks. Millions of smart devices connected to private Wi-Fi, often without adequate security, means home networks are left vulnerable to cyber attack.

Working hard in the background to protect the hundreds of millions of devices in homes and businesses across the world is cyber security expert Sivan Rauscher, a former officer in Israel’s elite 8200 Military Intelligence Cyber Unit.

Sivan is the founder of SAM Seamless Network, an Israeli start up that protects all smart devices that are connected to a network by delivering a software solution that runs as a service on top of the router.

SAM secures approximately seven million unmanaged networks and half a billion connected devices globally at any one time. Tens of thousands of them are in the UK. Clients across the globe include major telecom and network providers Verizon, Orange, Telenet and Bezeq and, at the time of writing, SAM is also engaged with other leading operators in the UK, Netherlands and LATAM.

Sivan Rauscher is the co-founder of SAM Seamless Network

Sivan tells Jewish News: “In the US, an average household has around 22 connected devices and in Europe, around 15 and we are seeing about 12 attacks per day per house from ransomware to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service).

“When you have so many connected devices on the same network, going through the same router, it’s easy to jump between the devices. The more connected devices you have, the larger the threat of a security breach.”

The use of smart devices has exploded – in part accelerated by the pandemic. According to reports, the number of IoT devices worldwide is forecast to almost double from 15.1 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion in 2030, and the market for internet-connected devices will be worth more than $4 trillion within a decade, experts say.

“You can’t do anything without WiFi today. We want to protect the average person as they have so many connected devices. We (the company) have a duty and feel the weight on our shoulders to make sure we have the best security to offer people across the globe. We always have to be two steps ahead.”

SAM Seamless Network protects half a billion connected devices globally at any one time, including in the UK

Last year, the European Union negotiators agreed on a new cybersecurity law to secure the IoT (IoT). The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is Europe’s attempt to stop insecure digital devices — increasingly taking over homes and workplaces — from unleashing cyber threats and last month (April), the UK implemented a groundbreaking legislation mandating minimum-security standards for internet-connected smart devices.

While Sivan says this recent regulation marks a significant step forward, she says “it’s essential to acknowledge persistent challenges. Over time, consumers may neglect to apply software updates to their gadgets, if and when those updates become available.

“This challenge is compounded by the persistent issue of sluggish discovery-to-patching processes by firmware vendors, leaving devices exposed to evolving threats. Additionally, devices purchased online, particularly from global marketplaces like AliExpress, may not adhere to existing regulations, exposing consumers to potential vulnerabilities. SAM’s solution addresses these challenges by providing continuous protection against such threats directly from the gateway, ensuring users’ digital well-being.”

Sivan co-founded SAM six years ago. She had previously worked at Comsec Global overseeing product management and in high level strategic consulting in both Israel and Europe. Prior to Comsec, she served as Chief of Staff of the Cyber Division of the ISNU, managing and planning Cyber Security operations.

The company’s software, which works remotely, can be applied to any system and works automatically through the user’s router or service provided by the internet provider. SAM identifies all the devices someone has on their network and protects them.

SAM, which has offices in Tel Aviv and New York, has grown to a team of 80. Sivan acknowledges that she is one in a minority of women in what she says is “an absolutely male-dominated sector.

“I have made sure that half our management team are female. It’s important for me to ‘walk the walk’.

Cyber has been a hero of the Israeli tech sector, which has faced a difficult 12 months. “We are a small country and know a lot about national security and getting the upper hand on the enemy from being in the army.

“A lot of people are on the right track for cyber from studying computer science, which is why Israel is investing a lot in this area and poaching young talent.”

SAM Seamless Network has several high-profile investors including BlackBerry, which co-led the Series B round with ADT Security Corporation, Verizon Ventures, Intel Capital, Night Dragon, Target Global, Ericsson and Blumberg Capital. The company is about to close a $20 million fundraising round, led by top global investment platform OurCrowd. “This will help us to unleash our data in new markets and regions.”

How worried should we be about Amazon Alexas? “It’s all about sensitive data, such as your bank account number, so if it’s listening and you’re loud speaking this data, then yes it’s a risk, but a low one as not many of us speak our confidentials out loud, but we should be more worried about someone hijacking Alexa to then jump into computers and other devices.”

She adds: “The IoT market is growing exponentially and we have to keep innovating making sure that we have not left anything out.”


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